The coronavirus vaccines developed by China's Sinovac are reportedly sold more expensive in the Philippines compared to its Asian neighbors.

Leachon asks why Sinovac cheaper in Indonesia, Thailand than in PH; Karen Davila says it’s ‘plain criminal’

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The coronavirus vaccines developed by China’s Sinovac are reportedly sold more expensive in the Philippines compared to its Asian neighbors.

ABS-CBN broadcast journalist Karen Davila has expressed dismay with the varying vaccine costs, saying it was “terrible” and “plain criminal.”

Davila was commenting on a tweet made by Dr. Anthony Leachon on reports Sinovac vaccines are cheaper in Indonesia and Thailand than in the Philippines.

Leachon, former adviser of the national task force fighting the pandemic, said the Sinovac vaccine dose US$17 in Indonesia compared to the $36 obtained by the Philippines. He shared a screenshot of the front page of the Bangkok Post newspaper dated Jan. 16.

“Why is Sinovac cheaper in Indonesia and Thailand?” Leachon asked on Twitter.

Davila reacted to Leachon’s post via Twitter. “This is just plain criminal. After Kawawa tayong mga Pilipino. Terrible,” she tweeted.

Davila’s post has been deleted on Twitter.

The government earlier announced it was buying 25 million doses of vaccines by Sinovac despite reports of poor efficacy rates and high cost. Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez defended the government’s decision to buy the Chinese-made vaccines, saying they were actually cheaper than other brands.

Screengrab from Twitter: @iamkarendavila

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For buses’ benefit: 300K liters of fuel smuggled weekly from Bataan to NCR

By Nancy Carvajal

At least 300,000 liters of fuel is smuggled weekly from a shipyard in Mariveles, Bataan to garages of various bus companies in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, persons involved in transporting the product told the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

NBI Special Unit Action agent Melvin Escurel said individuals they have talked to claimed to be clueless about the smuggling of fuel.

“A witness said they just received instructions from ‘Jerome’ and ‘Eric’ to proceed to the Seafront Shipyard and wait for the barge that would fill up their tanker,’’ Escurel said.

Using a long hose, diesel is loaded into the tankers inside the shipyard from a barge anchored about 500 meters away from the dock.

The tankers are filled with fuel at least three times a week. They travel to the shipyard from a garage in Pasay City.

Escurel said four to five tankers deliver the fuel to the garages of various bus lines. One tanker, meanwhile, heads to Fairview, Quezon City to fill up a supposedly abandoned tanker.

Based on witnesses’ testimonies, Escurel said the fuel smuggling scheme involving the Bataan shipyard appears to be well organized.

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